AFFORDABLE CARE ACT HELPS IMPROVE CARE FOR PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC DISEASES IN MISSOURI
People with chronic mental illness, substance abuse disorders and other chronic conditions will now be able to receive a new level of coordinated health care under an innovative program approved by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
The Affordable Care Act provided new flexibility and resources for State Medicaid programs to provide new health home services for people with chronic conditions. Using new tools and resources provided by the Affordable Care Act, Missouri will be the first in the nation to create this “health home” model for providing health care. Missouri’s new services will go into effect on January 1, 2012.
As a health home, Missouri’s community mental health centers will serve as the central source of care for patients with these diagnoses. The centers will be responsible for coordinating all medical needs including primary, acute, behavioral health (mental health and substance use), and long-term services and supports for persons with chronic illnesses. Recent investments in Missouri’s community mental health centers, including boosting their electronic health records systems, will help them perform this role.
“People with these disorders often do not have access to a full range of medical services,” said Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid, CHIP, Survey and Certification. “The new health home model being introduced in Missouri will help primary care doctors, specialists, and other providers coordinate the care they provide, and it has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life for people in Missouri.”
Specifically, this initiative targets Medicaid beneficiaries in Missouri with severe and persistent mental illness or people with a mental health or substance use disorder coupled with either a second chronic condition or tobacco addiction. Eligible beneficiaries will be able to select a qualified provider and participate in a health home.
States with approved proposals can receive enhanced 90 percent federal matching funds to support those activities for two years of the program. Missouri has worked closely with both CMS and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in developing its health home model to improve care for patients. Currently, two other States (Rhode Island and Oregon) have applied for a similar Health Home State Plan Amendment.
For more information about other Affordable Care Act initiatives to improve health care for patients visit www.HealthCare.gov.